Recently we had a client suggest a blog post on “self-care success stories from Caregivers”…we thought it was such a great idea, and a point of view that we hadn’t seen done before. There are many articles and info out there on “self care” in general, but the topic is unique when seen through the lens of a family Caregiver.
Here we have insight from 3 family Caregivers who have personal experience caring for a Senior loved one. We hope it brings ideas, hope, and most of all, the reminder that you are not alone on this journey…
Marjorie; Spouse & Caregiver
“This made me laugh..”self care” while taking care of Bill, running a company and helping my Daughter who was expecting my first grandchild…Haha!
Self care for me while caring for a terminally ill, 6’ foot 3” inch demanding man started when I overheard a family member say that the way things were headed, I would be dead way before Bill’s disease took him. I couldn’t walk away from my company and I couldn’t walk away from Bill or my family. So, I actually listened to Bill’s therapist who handed me meditation tapes and helped me get started on a meditation regiment. Once I took the “mumbo jumbo” seriously, I started each day with half an hour of meditation which cleared my head and settled my mind.
I focused on two healthy meals a day with healthy snacks. I reached out to friends and neighbors who had always said they would help, but I had stubbornly been doing it by myself. Neighbors became engaged and spent time with Bill and brought in groceries. Friends helped when Bill had therapy sessions, picking him up and transporting him while I took well deserved naps. He had new people to talk to and they usually had a chocolate milkshake for him, so he loved it.
All of this helped me get more restful sleep, so I was a better caregiver AND a better mother and grandmother.”
Liz; Daughter & Caregiver
“I care for my mom who has stage 4 Alzheimer’s, she is only 67, so it was pretty unexpected.
My advice for self-care is to make time for it in your schedule so it actually happens! I have scheduled “breaks” that I arrange with my husband so I can get away from our home/my caretaking duties and clear my mind. That time is for me and I can do whatever I want or need to do, knowing that my mom is safe and being cared for. Conversely, my husband also has his “break” time so he can get some space also. When we’re having a bad week, that time can be something to look forward to.
Also, try to release your guilt about caring for yourself. We all have it, even if it isn’t logical, just try to be kind to yourself and let that guilt go!
And lastly, it isn’t exactly about self-care, but I read somewhere that when a loved one is sick and you’re muddling through, you have to plan for joy. If you don’t create those special moments, it might feel like your life is passing you by. Make time for joy! You won’t regret it.
Susan; Spouse, Caregiver & Member Support for Parkinson Place
“From what I have experienced and seen first hand, Caregiver success is about joining a Caregiver’s support group that can help in so many ways.
It is a:
Platform to voice and
Listen to others.
Advice for those who need help in a
Caring Community and becoming
Empowered and stronger.
Find your place. It will make all the difference.”
If you or someone you love is a Caregiver looking for support to help you along your journey, please reach out to us at Sunways. We are a FREE service to share insight and information about Senior care and resources. Schedule a discovery call with us on our website: www.sunwaysalc.com.